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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  March 20, 2012 2:30am-3:00am PDT

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good morning. i'm willie geist and this is "way too early," the show that tried to it get peyton manning as a host but will settle for me for another miserable season. i'm glad you're up with us watching on msnbc or listening live on sirius xm radio. shoot me an e-mail or tweet me. let me know what you're dog up at this hour. or you can do what john elway does. we'll read the best responses later in the show. the next 30 minutes will be your cram session for this tuesday, march 20th. a lot going on today, including the release of the republican budget. we'll see if there's anything in there democrats can get behind. plus, the first lady of the united states sits down for the very first time with david letterman and tells dave what the president really thinks of john boehner. that clip later in the show. first let's get to the news live at 5:30 a.m. here at 30 rock in new york city. about 90 minutes from now,
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illinois voters start heading to the polls in a republican primary where 69 delegates are up for grabs. polls show mitt romney with a lead as the voting begins, some as w a big lead. he's hoping a convincing win in illinois will further make his case that math is on his side. rick santorum will be watching the returns tonight in gettysbu gettysburg, pennsylvania. yesterday he was on the defensive over these comments he made during a final campaign stop in illinois. >> we need a candidate who will be a fighter for freedom. who's going to get up and make that the central theme in this race because it is the central theme thin this race. i don't care what the unemployment rate is going to be. it doesn't matter to me. my campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates or growth rates. there's something more foundational going on here. >> mitt romney didn't waste time trying to capitalize on santorum's remarks. >> i'm kerneled abo concerned a people out of work. one of the people running for the no, ma'am it nation also
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says he doesn't care about the unemployment rate. that doesn't bother him. i do care about the unemployment rate. it does bother me. i want to get people back to work. i'm concerned about those out of work. one of the reasons i'm running is to get my expertise in place so we can put people back to work and get america strong again with a strong economy. >> so the romney campaign focusing on santorum's remark in the larger comment that he was not focused on unemployment rates. last night santorum tried to walk back his original comment. >> what i said was that the unemployment rate, it didn't matter what it was between now and election time because the fundamental issue that's causing the unemployment, that's causing the economic distress in our economy, is the fact that the government is imposing its will and mandating things on people and creating a yoke on top of businesses that makes it hard to employ. so if you want to solve the unemployment problem you've got to solve the regulatory tax and government oppression problem. so one is a cause of the other. it's not that unemployment isn't
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important. you just have to get to the foun taigsal cause of the unemployment. with a big lead in delegates over his opponents, mitt romney is looking to refocus his campaign message going after president obama. speaking yesterday at the university of chicago where barack obama once worked, the former massachusetts governor slammed the president's economic policies. >> the obama administration's assault on our economic freedom is the principle reason why the recovery has been so tepid and why it couldn't meet their expectations, let alone ours. if we don't change course now, the assault on freedom could damage our economy and the well-being of american families for decades to come. >> romney continued his speech on economic freedom as he called it by accusing president obama of crushing innovation in america. >> in a recent address he said that we're all inventors, we're builders, we're makers of things. we're thomas edison, the wright brothers, bill gates, we're
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steve jobs. the reality is that, under president obama's administration, these pioneers would have found it much, much more difficult, if not impossible, to innovate and invent and create. under dodd/frank they struggled to get a loan from their community bank k bank. a regulatory would have shut down t wright brothers for their dust pollution and the government would have banned thomas edison's light bulb. oh, yeah, they just did. >> the light bulb jab was in reference by a push by democrats to set stricter efficiency standards for household energy, something republicans have seized on. let's go now to msnbc and "time" political analyst, mark halper halperin, the co-author of "game change." top of the morning to you. >> top of the morning to you, willie geist. >> let's talk about the state of illinois. more to lose here, more to gain. mitt romney, rick santorum. >> well, san form has more to
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lose. romney loses illinois, it's clear how he can come back. if santorum loses, i think it puts him in a tough position. he'll have lost another big state and a state where he had a chance to have effectively that one-on-one matchup that everybody said he wanted with gingrich fading so thoroughly. >> haven't we come to the point, though, mark where we've learned from florida and from other states that's really no such thing as a make or break state anymore, that is to say, rick santorum can carry on with the mitt romney will never get to the 1144 threshold of delegates as long as rin rik santorum has money behind him had, can he continue to march on despite losses? >> he can, but if romney has a big win in illinois can actually start to convince people that in fact he can get to the majority of delegates. and so that would put him in a stronger position and i think it also will be the case that people realize, again, if romney has a big win in illinois, that santorum can't get there. once you have those two pieces in play, as talking points, i think it's possible santorum
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will have a real uphill climb to raise money and continue to build and consolidate political support even if gingrich leaves the race or is marginalized. it's a big night, not absolute make or break for either, but owe potentially the biggest night so far to determine the eventual outcome of the race. >> we've seen some flux in the polls, some with a margin of error lead, others have romney up double digits. what do your numbers tell you? >> if it's very low turnout, it's good for rick santorum in likelihood because his sue poerts are likely to come out. t real danger for sarn torm is the vast month jort of vote comes from around chicago and the suburbs there. and santorum has not effectively driven a message i think it in those areas. appeal to rural voters, more religious conservative voters downstate. but in the place where the votes are i think santorum has trouble. but in low turnout happens it's
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possible santorum can make it a contest. >> mark, thanks for waking up a little early. today republican leaders in the house will unveil their 2013 budget proposal aimed in part at drawing a contrast with president obama's fiscal blueprint. the republican plan led by paul ryan would make dramatic changes to the tax code, tax grakt brakts would be dropped from six to two with lower earners paying a 10% marginal rate and higher earners paying 25%. the alternative minimum tax would be eliminated under the plan. and the current 35% tax rate on corporations would be lowered to 25%. the plan also would nearly eliminate u.s. taxes on corporate earnings brought home from operations overseas. congressman ryan previewed today's proposal in a video he posted on youtube. >> make no mistake, years of empty promises from both political parties got us in this mess today. but, when it comes to the
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federal budget, the democrat-led senate hasn't even proposed one in three years. they continue to spend, but there's zero accountability. the president has proposed a budget bshgs yut it calls for m spending and more debt. despite imposing roughly $2 trillion in tax increases, the debt still skyrockets under his plan and it will put us on par with countries like greece. that will mean sudden cuts to ben fitds, sudden tax increases, and really a fundamental change to the american way of life as we know it. >> that of course a political ad from paul ryan, the budget comes out today. democrats immediately, though, pounced on this proposal, suggesting the tax overhaul is meant to distract from the more contentious aspects of the plan, including chance'ing changes to medicare and deeper spending cuts than budget negotiators agreed to in august. we should point out that paul ryan will join us later this morning on "morning joe".
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today, members of congress are set to hear from the top u.s. commander in afghanistan. general john allen will testify on capitol hill this morning as american officials work to ease tensions with afghan leaders and civilians, if that's even possible at this point. the "wall street journal" reporting the obama administration is now considering allowing more afghan control over nighttime raids by u.s. special forces. this comes, of course, against the backdrop of simmering anger in the country after the inknow vert ent of burning of holy books by nato groups and last week's massacre of 16 villagers. the suspect in that case, staff sar jantd robert bales, met with his defense team yesterday. his lawyer says bales only remembers some detail from the night in question and virtually nothing from the time the military says he was inside those afghan villages. now bales' wife carolyn is speaking out for the first time. in a statement preels lreleased
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her lawyer, what happened was a terrible and heartbreaking tragedy. we extend our convict dole enls enss to the parents and brothers and sisters and grant parents of the children who perished. i want to know how this could be. that's a statement from the wife of sergeant bales. there is also new information surrounding the suspect's troubled home life. according to ohio financial records, robert bales was ordered to pay more than $1.3 million in damages after defrauding an elderly couple while serving as their stockbroker. after all the courting is through, it looks like peyton manning will end up in denver. yes, that was the sight last season of a certain national phenomenon known as teen bow mania. what happens to teen bow now? we'll speak live to nbc's mike florida yoe. plus -- these pancakes are something else, i'll tell you. these pancakes are as large as my win in puerto rico last
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night. the margin was just about as good. >> giant illinois pancakes is metaphor for giant puerto rico win. mitt romney out connecting with the people. and a check on the weather when "way too early" comes right back. guaranteed.
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and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. 5:44 in the morning, a beautiful live picture of the plaza. bill cakarins, they're going to have to pull up that ice. >> i'm glad it's finally spring. this winter has been brutal. >> right. what have we had, 4 1/2 inches
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of snow in new york? truly. >> it if we take out halloween snow, it was hardly fwhig. >> amazing. >> it's been an incredible stretch. winter officially ending today. this is just an incredible heat woof we' wave we're in, especially in the midwest. we have thunderstorms, texas has a lot of nasty weather, light ning strikes in the thousands still early this morning. in corpus christi to houston, shreveport, the storms head your way through the morning. just look at yesterday. we were 79 in minneapolis for a high, chicago once again around 78, 79 in hartford. so this heat has been widespread all across pretty much the eastern half of the country. even this north, we're starting at 68 in chicago, it's 63 in d.c. when you walk outside on the first day of spring. and look at today, just incredible warmth once again. even buffalo in the upper 70s, some areas have a chance at 80 today. and look at chicago, willie geist. today we're predicting a high of
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85. >> 85 degrees as they go to vote in the state of illinois. >> yeah. the warmest temperature they've ever had any march ever in their history is 88. they have an outside shot of that. >> unbelievable. keep the good weather coming. we'll turn to sports now. tebow mania is about to be replaced by manning mania in denver. the peyton manning sweepstakes are settled with the 36-year-old former colts quarterback choosing the denver broncos as his new team. manning's agent still working out details, the deal expected to be worth about 95 million ldz over five years. the addition of manning raises the obvious question -- what about tim tebow? remember him? led the broncos to the playoffs last season? joining us by phone, mike florio of nbc sports and the founder of pro football talk.com. mike, great to talk to you at this hour. >> hey, willie. how are you? >> great. thanks for calling in. why denver for peyton manning? >> i think when you look at the
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other two finalists, the frinzers and titans, there just were issues that didn't create the fit and familiarity that peyton manning was looking forment he's going to go in and run the offense the way owe wants to and possibly recruit some of his former colts players to come help him feel just like he felt or as close to how he felt when he was in indianapolis. so i just think at the end of the day he realized the best way to win and the best way to do it in the way he knows how to win is to go to denver. >> and then the next obvious question, mike -- what about tim tebow, after that mania, the national craze we had over a couple of months last fall? what happens to tebow? >> they're going to try to trade him. they're not holding out much hope for getting anything significant. they gave up a first round pick for tim tebow, traded up back into round one to get him. they're going to hold a fire sa sale, get what they can. regardless of the football issues that tim tebow raises because he's unconventional, the
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bottom line is, he sell ltz tickets, sells jerseys, makes a team that otherwise wouldn't get much attention on the national stage a team that casual followers will follow. from day one, from the possibility rising, jackson svie and miami seem they should be at the top of the list. they have stadium issues, can't sell out. bring tim tebow out and suddenly it's standing room only. >> of course jacksonville is where tebow is from. he played college in north florida. they have a quarterback there. does that present a problem? >> well, from a football standpoint, yes. from a business standpoint, if the new owner of that team who just bought it back in january who has said very favorable things about tebow, including, i would have drafted him if i had owned the team at the time, they put parks over about 10,000, 15,000 seats for the home games, you take the tarps off and sell them out if you have tebow
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playing there. >> it sounds like the most likely outcome. mike florio, love having your perspective. thanks for waking up early. >> thank you. >> for all your latest football news, visit mike's web site, pro football talk.com. we get heat on this show for not showing enough hockey in our sports segments. so here you go. no secret the rangers and devils don't like each other. last night at the garden, three seconds after the puck drops, the gloves are off. three seconds, multiple fights all over the ice. look at this. three seconds, again, into the game. ladies and gentlemen, i give you the national hockey league. rangers won the game 4-2, the first game in the eastern conference to clinch a playoff berth. yet we just showed you the first 14 seconds of the game. coming up at the top of the hour o n "morning joe," mitt romney continues to make his point that the nomination belongs to him.
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when we come back, we'll huddle around the water cooler to watch the first lady of the united states dance deftly around david letterman's question about the president's opinion of john boehner. "way too early" coming right back. [ male announcer ] if your kid can recognize your sneeze from a crowd... you're probably muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air. -three. -one. two. three. one. -two. -three. -one. -two. -three. [ male announcer ] with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% back on groceries. and 3% back on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. -it's as easy as...1. -two. -three. [ male announcer ] 1, 2, 3 percent cash back
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foet voters begin heading to the polls in illinois in about one hour seven minutes. mitt romney and rick santorum battling in the primary there where 54 of the 69 dell gatds are at stake. it may not mean a lot come general election time. if you want to sound smart today, tell your friends illinois has gone democrat in event last five presidential elections and of course is the home state of president obama. that certainly won't help the republican nominee. illinois last gave its electoral votes to a republican in 1988, when george h.w. bush edged michael dukakis by less than two percentage points. enough real news. let's gather an the water cooler to watch the first lady of the united states with david letterman last night. it was her debut on "the last show" and almost immediately she found herself answering uncomfortable questions. >> i have conversations with my wife. paul has conversations with his
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wife. married men and women have conversations all the time. >> we tend to talk. >> that are for no one else in the world but one another. >> that's right. >> at the end of the day, has your husband ever come home and said to you, oh, that john boehner, what an idiot? >> it has never happened. never, never. he is always upbeat, particularly about congress. >> letterman also asked the first lady if she's ever in fact able to leave the white house. remember a year ago she made that run to target where she was captured by the paparazzi. >> if you said, i'm going to the 7-eleven to get a slurpee or something, could you do that? >> i technically could. it would drive a lot of people crazy. >> right. >> i've threatened to do it. i do it all the time. i say, i'm walking out that door. i'm walking. i'm leaving. you see people talking in their
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wrists, is she kidding? i'm going to do it one day. that's my target run. i went to target. i thought i was undercover. i have to tell you something about this trip, though. no one knew it that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right -- i was in the detergent aisle -- she said, can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent? i kid you not. >> as we mentioned, voters will be going to the polls today in illinois, and republican presidential candidate mitt romney stopped by yesterday dharlly parker's diner in springfield, illinois, during his third day of campaigning in the state. he used the charlie's famous 16-inch flapjack as a political metaphor. >> these pancakes are something else, i'll tell you. these pancakes are as large as
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my win in puerto rico last night, i must admit. the margin was just about as good. so i need only one thing from you this morning. no. two. number one, i need some panca pancakes. can i have one of these? not the super big one. i can't fit that in the vehicle. the car's only a chevy suv. >> a metaphor for his victory in puerto rico. still ahead on "way too early," your syrupy texts and e-mails and tweets are next. "morning joe" is just moments away. ♪ oh. let's go. from the crack, off the backboard. [ laughs ] dad! [ laughs ] whoo! oh! you're up! oh! oh! so close! now where were we? ok, this one's good for two. score! [ male announcer ] share what you love with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes. they're gr-r-eat!
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number one story on msnbc.com, what people are talking about, the investigation of killing trayvon martin, a teenager, by a neighborhood watch captain. he called 911 to say the teen was acting suspicious. the only thing he was holding in the end was a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles. >> i've got a pair of

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